The 5:2 diet plan also referred to as the ‘fast diet’ or ‘intermittent fasting’ has come into the limelight with a promise to help weight loss seekers achieve a figure of their dreams within weeks. But before you decide to step onto the bandwagon of this new craze, take a close look at the tenets of the 5:2 diet plan.
Basic Principles Of The 5:2 Diet Plan:
The key to this diet’s popularity is that this plan allows one to eat whatever they wish to eat for 5 days and then be on a fast for the remaining 2 days of the week. The dieters can continue to eat approximately 2000 calories per day, for five days and just need to bring down the calorie intake to 25 percent of their usual calories on the fasting days.
These fasting days are best followed on two non-consecutive weekdays so as to avoid fatigue and cravings. The overall calorie restriction results in a weight loss of up to 1-2 pounds on a weekly basis. Since there is no restriction on the type of foods eaten on these days, it is considered to be an easy plan to follow and can be continued for a longer duration as an eating pattern.
5:2 Diet Plan Benefits:
The perks of the 5:2 diet plan go beyond weight loss and may include improvements in blood cholesterol levels, better alertness and a reduced risk to heart diseases and cancers. Staying hydrated and having a combination of complex carbohydrates and lean proteins on the fasting days is usually recommended. However, this plan is not suggested for children, pregnant women and people with diabetes.
Risks Associated with This Diet Plan:
The diet comes with certain risks too. Consuming a diet as low as 500 kcals per day for a long duration can lead to the following conditions:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Fluctuating blood glucose levels
- Sleep problems
If the foods consumed on ‘eating days’ are not chosen wisely and are loaded with fats or sugar, the effort of fasting every week might just result in hunger and stress. Yet another drawback of this plan is that it tells you how much to eat’ and not ‘what to eat’ thus emphasizing the quantity’ and not the quality’ of the calories consumed.
It all comes down to eating sensibly, including fruits and vegetables and restricting the intake of processed foods, sweetened beverages, and stimulants. But isn’t it something that we already know? So do we still need these latest diet trends to dictate our eating choices?